Supporting people with developmental,
cognitive and intellectual disabilities to be
actively involved in their home communities.

Ross Bean – Featured LEAPer for Spring 2017

Ross is excited for Earth Day!

Ross Bean recently did his part to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday April 22nd, as seen in the shared photo.  When DSP Wes Babula arrived at Ross’ apartment that day, they talked about the meaning of Earth Day, and a local couple who had organized a sign-up in town.  Ross seemed interested in helping his community and the environmental impacts of trash.  “I said sure, that sounds like fun.  I’d like to do that. We collected trash on the side of the road.  Two bags full! It was gross and I wore gloves so I didn’t get germs.”  Ross enjoyed this activity because he was helping others and doing a good thing.  He likes to help others. 

Ross is a relative newcomer here at LEAP, and moved to an apartment in Farmington with one of his peers in the spring of 2016.  When asked what specifically he likes about his apartment, Ross replied “It’s great.  I hang out with Dominick and do things like community time, karaoke, and hiking.  I really like hiking with Ben.”  He and DSP Ben Harvell go hiking every Monday year-round and explore different trails and the woods of Western Maine.  They went on an overnight hiking trip last fall to Pico Peak overlooking Clearwater Lake, where they practiced wilderness safety and survival skills.    

Ross is a 2006 graduate of Telstar High School in Bethel, Maine.  Prior to moving from his parents’ home, he was a proud Rebel and says he enjoyed his time at school.  Although Ross misses some of his schoolmates and teachers, he does keep in touch with a few.  He was particularly fond of shopping day when he and his schoolmates would accompany his teacher to the grocery store.  There they worked on menu planning, healthy choices and budgeting.  When they returned to the classroom, they worked on following recipes and cooking safety.  These skills have carried over into his adult life as well.  LEAP supports Ross and his housemate to plan a weekly menu, keeping their preferences and healthy choices in mind along with cooking meals with them.  Ross is also working on budgeting his own personal spending money to make it last longer and to ensure he gets to purchase the things he enjoys.

Ross enjoys visiting his parents on the weekends a few times each month.  One of the highlights of these visits is time spent with Maggie Bean, his black lab.  Ross shares that Maggie likes her belly rubbed a lot and he takes her for walks.  He and his father also share the love of outdoor activities and bike, hike, camp, ski, etc. When in his home town, Ross delights in going to Rooster’s Road House and orders the bar steak.  “I practice money skills and pay my own bill at Rooster’s.”  Sometimes when Ross is in Bethel for a weekend visit, he accompanies his parents to New Hampshire where his brother, sister-in-law and new nephew Finnegan live.  When asked if he likes being an Uncle, Ross replied “Sure do.  I rock him to sleep.”  Ross also enjoys traveling around the world to visit family in England and France.  He has experienced double decker buses, Big Ben, and various bridges of interest.  Ross still enjoys a good slice of pizza when he travels though.  England has the best.    

Ross attends the Emma R Foundations Community Supports Program where he swims, does fitness training, participates in year-round Special Olympics and Therapeutic Horseback Riding.  He also works on skill-building in the areas of money management, emotions, rights and relationships.  Ross has been attending Emma R since 2010 and has made many friends.  He appreciates being greeted every morning in the same manner.  “Good Morning Mr. Bean.  How are you doing?”  And he replies “Not too bad.  How are you today?”  Routines are important to Ross and the salutations of the day are predictable, consistent and valuable to him.

Some of Ross’s interests and hobbies include: greeting and staying in contact with law enforcement personnel; collecting patches or stickers from emergency responders; doing research on his iPad; weekly hiking; Karaoke; Facilitated Communication Group; Men’s Group; anything athletic such as volleyball, basketball, golf or kickball.  He is also quite passionate about music and often blasts his iPad or Walkman with the likes of Johnny Cash, Patti Labelle and Bob Seger.  Ross is savvy about safety; he appreciates being recognized and praised for making safe choices, and helping others who may be in an unsafe situation or not feeling well.  He participates in fire safety training and practiced the P-A-S-S method with the fire extinguisher within the first week of moving to Farmington.